What did you do this summer?

After sharing their holiday discoveries in Europe and the UK, our writers reveal their summer highlights in more far-flung destinations, from family-friendly Goa to the food scene in Peru

Go anywhere nice this summer? Share your holiday snaps and tips on GuardianWitness



While road-tripping around California, my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a night at an architectural gem on the northern coastline of Mendocino. A couple of hours’ drive up stunning Highway 1 from San Francisco, it is the perfect escape from the city.

In 1963, architect Al Boeke set out his vision for this area of exceptional natural beauty: living in harmony with the land and zoning out from the stresses everyday life. The result is a minimalist village perched above the sea, with each building adhering to a wood-and-shingle design, in keeping with the rugged surroundings. The design of Sea Ranch Lodge, a hotel that was included in the original development, is part Scandinavian eco-home, part James Bond pad. Its acclaimed restaurant serves locally sourced produce, including wine from nearby Sonoma vineyards. There is a magic about the isolation of Sea Ranch. Maybe it is the dramatic Pacific coast fog, all-encompassing on an early morning walk along the 7½ mile cliff-top trail. Bleak has never been so beautiful.
+1 707 785 2371, searanchlodge.com. Rooms from around £150 in summer, including breakfast at the restaurant
Sarah Phillips

Buffalo, New York state

When I told people I was going to spend two days in Buffalo as part of a cycling holiday, they all told me I was making a big mistake. Buffalo’s reputation is similar to that of places like Detroit, with houses being sold for a dollar as part of the city’s attempt at regeneration after decades of neglect. But for anyone interested in architecture, it’s the perfect destination. There’s a huge range on display, from the stunningly ornate red facade of the Prudential building designed by “father of the skyscraper” Louis Sullivan to the covered porches reminiscent of the rural south.

A good place to start is the art deco city hall, which has a public observation deck on the 25th floor offering a panoramic view of the city and neighbouring Lake Erie. There are also several buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, most notably Darwin Martin House, and intriguing abandoned grain silos and crumbling industrial infrastructure south of the modern city centre. The crowning glory is the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks system, a network of green areas that far surpasses its rivals in most North American cities.
Alan Evans


Food in Peru

The anchovies at La Mar, the pisco infusions at La Picanteria , the brilliantly balanced cooking at Central , Lima has lots to offer anyone interested in good food and drink. But two places that made me happiest were a little less polished. Mercado Surquillo 1, on the edge of the Miraflores district, is a municipal market overflowing with Pacific and river fish, meat, offal and every variety and colour of exotic potato and corn (though perhaps pass on the coca, maca and peyote on offer in the “medicine” stalls). Chez Wong (chezwong7@hotmail.com) has around seven tables, two courses, no choice, and chef Javier Wong serves the freshest and best ceviche you will ever eat (between £16 and £50, depending on the catch of the day).
Allan Jenkins, editor, Observer Food Monthly



If you’ve had enough of the north Indian plains, or anywhere else for that matter, Coconut Creek at Bogmalo in Goa is about the easiest escape, especially for families with young kids. A glade of palm trees, a spacious pool, and a lovely uncrowded beach a 10-minute walk away make it a perfect bolthole. Expect cows on the beach and delicious spicy fried mackerel at the beach cafe. The key point is that it’s all only a 10-minute drive from the airport. Anything in India that eases logistics is a bonus.
coconutcreekgoa.com, doubles from £52, or £37 in monsoon season
Jason Burke, Dehli correspondent


Restaurants in Jerusalem

Machneyuda is a crowded, noisy, hipsterish restaurant that takes its name from the famous nearby market. For about £50 a head, including wine, it’s a buzzing night out. The food – chicken livers and mashed potato (to die for), spicy fish balls, polenta in a Kilner jar, mushroom risotto on a mini shovel – is tasty rather than haute. The Israeli wine, especially the Clos de Gat, is hugely enjoyable. Chef Assaf Granit is about to open a restaurant in London in the autumn – it won’t have the subtlety of Yotam Ottolenghi, but if Machneyuda is anything to go by, it is bound to be popular. Over the Green Line, my Palestinian place of choice is Pasha’s for piles of meze, burnt aubergine, grilled St Denis fish and hubbly-bubbly pipes. With the sun on the back of your neck, you can forgive the palate-stripping white wine. Meals cost around £25.
Giles Fraser

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